Mourvèdre is a versatile red grape that can be found all around the world, but most prominently in Spain and the south of France. It is used on its own as a varietal wine, but it is also a key component in the GSM – or Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre – blend. The grape can also be used in rosés and fortified wines. It is most likely of Spanish origin, taking its name from Murviedro, a town near Valencia. It is the fourth most popular variety to grow in the country, reaching 63,000 hectares in 2004. In France, around 7,600 hectares were being grown in 2000.
Mourvèdre needs a hot climate in order to grow effectively, being a late variety to bud and ripen, which makes it somewhat easier to grow in Spain than some of the relatively cool areas of France. Despite this, it is usually able to recover rapidly after spring frosts. The grape itself is small and sweet, with a thick skin. It usually produces wines that are high in alcohol and tannins, with notes of game and fruits such as blackberry.